Express Week

Beauty Queens and Artists Unite to Help Build a Philippine Heritage Cultural Center in NY

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NEW YORK, New York (April 20, 2015) -- It all started with a conversation between Miguel Braganza II and Fely Perez, founding presidents of the Filipinos in the Arts in America, Inc. and Philippine Heritage Center, Inc., respectively.

They concurred that it would be extremely beneficial for the Filipino-American community to have its own Philippine Heritage Cultural Center, a focal venue for Philippine culture and arts in New York. After several meetings, they decided to make it a reality, in collaboration with a third organization, the Filipino Arts and Music Ensemble.   

Ooh La La Filipina: A Philippine Revue is the first in a series of fundraising shows for building the cultural center. Happening on Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m., at the Ethel Lefrak Theatre in Queens College, New York (65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Queens, N.Y.), this show is conceptualized, directed and choreographed by Braganza himself. The show promises an evening of Philippine songs, dances and fashion. It will also pay tribute to distinguished Filipino-American women and world-class beauties. 

Headlining the show is Audra Mari, Miss Teen USA 2011 and Miss USA 2014 First Runner Up. 

The show features an amazing line-up of performers including former members of Philippine Ballet Theater Joey Atayde, Saeko Hayashi and Tiffany Mangulabnan;  Dance Theater Philippines veterans Marissa de Guzman, Nina Grajo and Virgie Alvarez; American Swiss Ballet Company's Sonia Melo; and Gelsey Kirkland's Natalia Sheptalova. 

Local artists will also grace the show including Angel Ram, Geo Rebucas, Usher Tureck, Edmerald Gan, Jilliane Say-Maranan, Anna Liza Samson Temple, Anthony Samonte, Marvee Sanagustin, and Jason Perez, star of Lifetime's "Little Women: NY." 

Also showcasing their talents are up-and-coming young artists, students at LaGuardia High School of Music Art and Performing Arts, and MB2NY Young Performers Workshop participants Trisha Barras, Katarina Ladaga, Stephanie Quiambao, Leila Cicco, Tammy Pattugalan, Bertha Birotte, Christopher Morales, Fran Manligoy, Christine Morales, Ryan Paqueo, Nica Garana, Anne Garana and Rianne Avendula. 

In addition, there will be a number of international dancers, models, musicians and singers including Angelica Mejia, Katerina Giannakopoulus, Irninta Dwitika, Bea Acain, Kyle Jones, Marcus Shapiro and Kevin Yu. 

Special appearance will be made by Jiaju Shen, Gail Banawis, Radio City Rockettes' Christine  Sienicki, and Mutya Ng Pilipinas 2015 First Runner-Up Julee Ann Marie Bourgoin. 

Completing the cast are Philippine Heritage Center and Filipino Arts and Music Ensemble artists. Lighting design will be done by Darrell Bryan T. Rosales and sound design by Shigemasa Nakano. 

 For tickets or more information, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Filipino Express

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